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Global Storyteller: Brooke Uken

Brooke Uken is a recent graduate and a double major in international studies and agricultural business management.

Have you traveled in your life?

I have moved every two years; I lived in southeast Asia and studied abroad in Australia.  

What has been the best part of your international experience? 

Finding comfort in an uncomfortable situation. Although Australia was very Americanized, I still had to lean into the discomfort and assure myself that it was okay.

Did you find anything difficult before or after traveling abroad?

My program was very new, and only two students from NC state went. There were a lot of unknowns; I also had never lived abroad alone before.

How has it changed you?

It made me more adaptable and open-minded. The experience gives me an edge now when looking for a job because I’m not afraid anymore to do something outside of what I’m used to. It has given me new confidence to travel by myself. I realized our world is not just NC State, or Raleigh, or North Carolina or even America! It’s broadened my sense about the world so much.

What would you tell people planning to travel?

You must plan for it. Avoid comparison, go with an open mind, and tell yourself that you are capable.

Tell us something random about yourself.

Being a six-foot female has always set me apart and forced me to be a leader in any room I’m in.

What is your greatest struggle right now?

As a graduating senior, this is the first time in life there is no natural next step for me. The endless possibilities of doing anything is hard. I will likely get a job, but the idea of doing anything I want still terrifies me.

What are your plans for the future?

I’m looking to stay here in Raleigh. I also would love to work in a non-profit or anything that involves working with people in an impactful way.